Finding inspiration is a constant battle. It’s not always easy to find nor to know where to look. What works one day might not work next time. For creatives, this is something we must always fight. So what can you do to help find inspiration? If you are walking down the street or riding the train while reading this, stop. There might be something inspiring right in front of you.
Most people realize that searching for inspiration online doesn’t always work. Sometimes it does and a lot of time that’s where I start. But have you ever walked down the street without a phone and just soaked in everything around you? Being in the video production field, this is a very powerful tool for myself. “Make it look natural” or “Make it look realistic” is a common request. How do I know what a busy street during the day looks like if my face is always buried in my phone? Sure I can look at other videos but that is from someone else’s perspective. So step one is easy. Get off your phone, look up and observe the environment around you. *Bonus* If you see something awesome take a picture.
This is my favorite way to find inspiration. Driving the same roads to work, grabbing coffee at the same place, and eating the same lunch everyday may seem like a nice routine but doesn’t do much to inspire. Being in the DC area, the last thing I want to do is explore new roads during rush hour traffic. What I can do is try new coffee shops, places to eat and where I walk to get to them. While doing this make sure you put away your phone and observe your surroundings.
Along with the minor stuff you can do during your work week you can take advantage of your days off to not only take a break from the day job, but to fuel inspiration. The obvious choice during the summer season is the beach. A care-free and laid back atmosphere will not only reduce stress, but open your mind to new ideas. I enjoy soaking in the lifestyle for the fact that it is so different from my day to day life. Even if the trip doesn’t jolt an idea in my head, I come back to work relaxed and motivated. And this turns into better work.
Those who are adventurous may want to try hiking, mountain biking, camping, rock climbing or even backpacking. Living and working in a city atmosphere makes the great outdoors my first choice for how I spend my days out of the office. Not only does it make me feel like a kid again, but the landscapes and views from different trails allow me to see things I don’t see everyday. You may not see a lot of people, but you have the chance to get awesome footage, pictures, or even timelapses. You never know when these outdoor landscapes will be needed for a project and now you know where to find them.
There are a ton of places you can go to clear your head, relieve stress and ultimately inspire you to produce better work. The above are just a few of my favorites. Take the challenge to find new ways to “get away” and become inspired.
Granted, you can go on a weekend getaway or a week long vacation just to relax. That’s perfectly fine and a good thing to do throughout the year. But, if you can learn something from the trip and use that in your field – then, it’s an added bonus. Here are a few ways I use my trips to benefit my career:
- Taking pictures
- Shooting Timelapses
- Shooting at different times of the day to study lighting
- Trying something unique like shooting underwater
- Hearing new stories
- Coming back to the office relaxed and ready to work
I hope next time you go on a trip you can benefit in more ways than just relieving stress. Take notes of the new environment, capture photos and get inspired to create!